VVS announces college preparatory residency for June 2017

Verde Valley School Announces College Launch AZ for Summer 2017

With generous support from the Arizona Community Foundation, Sedona-based Verde Valley School will host its inaugural College Launch AZ June 19-25, 2017. College Launch is a tuition-free, week long residential College Application Workshop for twenty high-achieving 10th and 11th grade students from historically underrepresented communities in the Verde Valley and throughout Arizona.   Continue Reading…

VVS Admissions Team visits China and Germany

Sean Fagan ~ Director of Admissions

Our Director of Admissions, Sean Fagan, recently spent a three-week stretch in China visiting with prospective students and families, current Verde Valley School families, international and Chinese schools, agents and educational consultants. The cities he visited included Beijing, Jinan, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dalian.

Many Chinese value the “western” educational approach (i.e., the emphasis on critical thinking, experiential learning, collaboration, smaller class sizes, etc.) and thoroughly enjoy learning more about a unique school like VVS. They are very appreciative that a boarding school experience can offer a Chinese student cultural immersion, a sense of independence, a higher level of English proficiency, and help prepare them for successful college/university study in the US.

Currently, there are approximately 38,000 Chinese secondary students in US schools and some 350,000 in US universities and colleges.

“The demand from the Chinese for a US education is strong,” says Fagan. “Education in China is very focused on testing and preparing for annual national exams. Many families are looking at US schools as an alternative. They also value the reputation of US colleges and universities.”

Sean was able to meet with, and interview, eight prospective students in China, and presented to six educational consultancy groups on his trip. He visited three schools (one international and two Chinese) to discuss possible future collaborations. Current families eagerly expressed their happiness with the experiences their children are having at VVS.

VVS also recruits in Europe. Associate Director of Admissions, Shannon Jakes, has recently returned from a recruiting in tour in Germany that took her to school fairs in Munich, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Duesseldorf, Hamburg and Berlin.She was able to talk with 15 different German families throughout her week of travel. She found that the students and families she met were eager to experience a school, such as VVS, with an emphasis on experiential and outdoor programs. She also observed that the VVS International Baccalaureate curriculum aligns well with the German curriculum, allowing achieving students to study in the US and return to Germany on track for further university study in Europe. When Shannon met German VVS alum throughout her trip, the thing that students said they missed the most about their exchange is the student teacher relationships as well as the tight knit community this school offers.

Admission staff have also been busy in the US attending various school fairs in Arizona, California, Utah, Texas and Nevada. These fairs are a great opportunity to meet prospective families and educational consultants and to visit “feeder” schools in the area.

Admissions is organizing more recruiting trips in the spring of 2017!

College Parent Info Session

VVS College Counselors Meg Haesloop and Lillian Hoodes invite you to join them on Tuesday May 10th at 6:30 pm in Classroom 5 on the VVS classroom for a parent information session.

While this workshop is primarily designed for families of juniors, we recognize the value of planning ahead and would like to reach out to families of sophomores as well. Meg and Lillian will address the following topics and will reserve time for individual questions as well:

College Application Process Overview & Timeline
Building an Appropriate College List
College Visits
Applying for Financial Aid
Summer “To Do” List for Students and Families

Tracey Leebrook of Revolution Prep, a national test-prep and online tutoring company who can answer questions about preparing for the SAT and ACT, will also join us.

College Acceptance Update

With the first round of college applications behind them, the Class of 2016 has some pretty impressive early action and early decision acceptances. Thus far, members of the senior class have been accepted to:

Dartmouth College
Hampshire College
Indiana University at Bloomington School of Business
Embry Riddle
Elon University
University of Portland (3)
Ohio State University
Lewis & Clark College
University of St. Andrews, Scotland
University of Utah
Washington State University
Ripon College
Augustana College
Univ of Ottowa
Evergreen State College

Gustavus Adolphus College
Goucher College
Northern Arizona University
Humboldt State University
St. Edwards University (3)

The class has also been awarded approximately $250,000 in scholarship as a whole.


Great Job on College Acceptances!

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Congratulations Class of 2015!

During a special dinner on “Deposit Day” in early May, VVS seniors announced their college matriculation choices to the school. Each member of the class of 36 seniors marked a spot on a map of the US – with one student choosing to attend a university outside of the US – with their name and college choice during the dinner. Once again we’re looking at a 100% rate of matriculation to four-year universities.

Each member of the Class of 2015 was accepted into multiple undergraduate institutions and all will matriculate in the fall, with the exception of two students choosing a gap year followed by entry in the fall of 2016. The VVS Class of 2015 matriculation list includes

Dartmouth College (2 students attending)                 School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Bryn Mawr College (2 students attending)                 Colorado State University

University of California, Irvine                                      Augustana College (3 attending)

California Polytechnic State University                       Penn State University

Colorado College                                                               Arcadia University

Pitzer College                                                                     Knox College

Willamette University                                                      Sierra Nevada College

University of Arizona                                                       Centenary College

University of Colorado, Boulder                                    Providence College

Southwestern University                                                 Washington State University

Wheaton College                                                               Gustavus Adolphus College (2 attending)

Earlham College                                                               George Mason University

Marist College                                                                   Quest University

Fuhrman University                                                        Gonzaga University

Oregon State University

It was also a very successful year for merit scholarships with approximately 90% of the class offered tuition assistance based on merit. A little over $1.3 million dollars was awarded per year to members of the class. Spanning four years of college, the class in total was awarded in excess of $5 million in scholarships.

Students were also accepted to, but opted not to attend schools including Bates College, Fordham University, Middlebury College, Wesleyan University, Occidental College, Rhode Island School of Design, Lewis and Clark College, Sarah Lawrence College, Skidmore College, Hofstra University and Lehigh University.